By Dee Ford Byas

Chandler was recently announced as the destination for an annual National Haitian American Elected Officials Network leadership retreat taking place Jan. 28-31.

The event themed: “Moving Forward Together,” will be hosted by Chandler city council member, Christine T.D. Ellis, retreat chair; and city of north Miami, Fla., councilman, Alix Desulme, who is the NHAEON chairman.

Since 2009, the annual retreat has enabled NHAEON members to network and address issues affecting the Haitian American community in the U.S. while discussing improving relationships between the U.S. and Haiti. The Chandler retreat will be the site for the “largest gathering of Haitian American leaders across the nation in the Grand Canyon state,” according to a press release.

Approximately 500 business, community, and non-profit leaders are expected to attend the events.

“Amidst a global pandemic, economic crisis, and human rights struggle it is crucial that we come together and discuss and address the issues that affect our communities collectively,” stated Desulme, the chair.

Registration is underway for those interested in attending as all are invited to the retreat designed to “promote, collaborate, and engage with leaders who care.”

Chandler was chosen as the host city for the retreat as it has demonstrated efforts to “move forward together” by electing its first Black woman of Haitian descent to its city council during the global pandemic. Chandler councilwoman Ellis, a NHEAON member, is active in her local community, from fundraising to help victims of the 7.2 earthquake that upended the Republic of Haiti, to taking a stance on civil rights through advocating for higher education and more free market solutions.

“It is an honor to be hosting the 2022 National Haitian American Elected Officials Network”.

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